National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is coming to a close and I’ve read posts, articles, watched videos, and ultimately done a lot of self reflection from the past 4+ years of this being a part of my story.
A year ago I was sitting outside in downtown Atlanta with some of my best friends watching the Olympic Marathon Trials, 9 months pregnant but not having a care in the world. Pregnancy taught me so much in the realm of fueling my body properly after years of getting back on the tracks and I have been feeling good in general, but after this past week I remember there may never be finality in recovery. So here’s the honest truth: this week was the hardest I have had in a quite some time.
Oh, I am thankful to be a part of the running community, I believe I have purpose here, BUT its also a community that is susceptible to the enemies lies that we just aren’t good enough, not thin enough, not pretty enough to have influence, be fast enough, insert your place holder here. And maybe it’s the combination that at exactly 11 months postpartum I hit pre-baby weight and it felt like an overwhelm of this new journey beginning. Maybe it was an unfortunate culmination of several things including the intensity of social media during the pandemic. Or maybe it was a gift? As odd as it sounds…
Remembering that longevity, staying in the fight, being there for people around you never “finishes” you hopefully only get wiser, more trustworthy, build capacity to keep moving forward – with everyone – together.
So National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2021 was a nice place holder for life, for the journey, and a great reminder that we are all in this indefinitely but for something far more beautiful: freedom and confidence that God designed us mentally and physically with careful consideration and beauty galore and the enemy can NEVER take that away. This isn’t meant to be discouraging, but encouraging in the ability to fight harder, stronger, and towards freedom.
Gosh, I saw this prompt and thought as a new mom for the entirety of a pandemic (to the week) this has been a theme in my life. We love to travel, I love to run, and we love being together with our people, BUT we have a little guy who has ben relying on me minute by minute and we have high risk family members so where do we draw the line?
It was easier to navigate at the beginning of E’s life because we were too exhausted to think about much, and my hormones were so all over the place I got to have a final say a lot of the times. And when the cases dropped late summer and early fall we felt ok traveling on a small scale to see new places. We set boundaries, no indoor dining except for the very early morning breakfast shift at Disney because not many people are up at 6:30 with a 7 month old on vacation. We said no to anywhere we needed to fly. We only rented places that had advanced cleaning protocols in place. We drew a line in the sand. For me it meant no group runs, and the one race I did that did not implement strict COVID protocols felt too risky.
But now it’s hard. E is turning 1 next month, we want to do a blow out. We are ready to travel again as cases start to drop, I want to do races which come with its own logistical nightmare. Jon has to go in more for work with his new promotion, I need a little bit more care with my running load. And now Elijah is at school some during the week. The amount of variables even for this Enneagram Eight is a lot to navigate. Oh and did I mention we still have those high risk family members that don’t want to miss out completely on E’s first year.
Maybe this isn’t about a risk not worth taking, but more about the reality that every day has 10 variables you can see and 60 you can’t. It doesn’t make planning fun like it used to, but that fact has helped me stay more grounded in the present. So whether it’s a risk you do or a risk you don’t, maybe we can all agree to live more presently and we can take that with us after the pandemic is over. If we don’t, we miss some of what God has for us in the details he cares so much about.
While this is a prompt from a travel blog site I am going to use it more as a journaling session. This one speaks to my heart in many ways. I didn’t date in high school, I had a few guys ask nonchalantly but I made myself VERY unavailable. Swimming was the priority and why would you even bother dating in high school, it rarely works anyway said my overly rational brain. My dating life and ebb’d and flowed through college, but in one moment right after I graduated my mom said something that struck me and I’ve taken with me all these years, “You intimidate guys”. I felt hopeless in the moment, but she was right. My rigidity kept me in a lock step pattern with the scheduled task list of the every day. When I set my mind to something I went after it with 120%, I wanted a career, to still be an athlete, to serve and live with my church and in my city. In essence I wanted it all, but.
Inside was this scared girl, this girl that carried so much so she didn’t miss it. One who hid a lot of days behind the vibe of not caring about what anyone did or said. There were so many layers, and she couldn’t go one below the skin.
If you’ve been reading for awhile you know how this turned out. This rigid girls who boasted a tough exterior has slowly dropped her guard, not completely but in enough moments for people to be welcomed in. This independence thing we are so proud of in this country isn’t always what meets the eye. People are not only skin deep.